If you enjoy camping and cooking outdoors, a good campfire cooking kit can make cooking foods and meals outdoors much easier. In this article, I will show you a list of the best campfire cooking kits based on my own years of experience camping, cooking outdoors, and handling a campfire. I also go over what to consider when buying outdoor cooking equipment and give a few tips on how to get the most out of these outdoor cooking kits.
Preparation is essential for enjoying camping to the fullest. Having the right campfire cooking gear packed and ready in your car or RV can make a world of difference when cooking over an open fire. This list is a culmination of my many years of campfire cooking expertise and camping along the Florida coast.
Finding a campfire Cooking Kit
Not every camping trip was perfect. Actually, not every campfire was great either. It took me a few years, trips, mistakes, and trial and error to make these trips perfect and become a good campfire cook. Through the course of many years, I tested and tried over 20 different campfire cooking sets, and this article is the culmination of my years of testing notes and fails. It doesn’t matter how much you prepare; without the right open-fire cooking equipment and a good fire cooking kit, the experience can be rough.
I live in Florida, where camping, outdoor cooking, and hiking are synonymous with our state. Florida has some of the most beautiful state parks and beaches in the US. I have visited many of these state parks and done many camping trips. My favorite spot is Fort DeSoto Camp, located on the west coast of Florida near Tampa and Sarasota.
What a campfire cooking kit should Include to work well
Below you will see my top recommendations for the best campfire cooking kit, and I also included a guide to highlight what you should look for in a good campfire set.
But here are my two cents on what these cooking sets should do well, specially if using nothing more than a campfire as a heat source.
First, they need to be very portable and easy to move around, fold, pack, and throw anywhere in an RV, boat, or car. I’m also looking for double functionality in separate items, and what I mean by that is that I want to see a spoon that doubles as a fork or a carrying bag that can be used as a washing sink.
I also want the cook set to have good handles. When you are cooking outside or on a campfire, you use your bear hands a lot, and if I’m using gloves, I like big handles so I can wrap my entire hand around the handles without issues.
Lastly, the more and stronger the metal, the better. This is why, unlike camp stoves, there is no knob to adjust the flame when cooking over a campfire, and flare-ups do occur. When cooking out in nature, you have to react quickly, but sometimes if the fire gets out of hand, well, you have to let the cookware in the pit.
I have seen plastic handles melt, clips break, and pots warp. So keep this in mind. I will go more in detail on other factors you should consider, such as price, later in this article.
Out Top Picks For Best Campfire Cooking Kit
1. Stanley Base Camp Cook Set for 4 with 21 pieces campfire Kit – Best Overall
Why our top pick?
This campfire cooking set is well built, one of the most complete campfire cooking kits on the market, and reasonably priced.
Capacity: 4 people
Number of pieces: 21
- 3.5 liter stainless cooking pot with a vented lid
- A stainless frying pan
- 4 – 22 oz. bowls
- A cutting board
- A Spatula
- Four 6-inch plates
- A serving spoon
- Bowls dish rack
- A sponge securing cord to stack the set.
This Stanley campfire cooking kit for 4 has almost everything you need from your kitchen but camping. On many of my camping trips, I always forget two things that are included in this kit: a serving spoon and sporks. This set is designed with usefulness in mind. For example, instead of packing both forks and spoons, you get sporks!
I also like that it is designed to be stacked and stored neatly and securely using the bungee cord. This set comes complete with plates, bowls, and even a dish rack to keep the dishes dry after a quick wash.
- Super useful cook set—the strong instructions are engraved on the pot’s lid, so you don’t have to remember how to put 21 pieces in a 3.5-liter pot.
- All the parts and pieces fit inside the pot. It’s very easy to store and carry.
- I like that the utensils have hook holes to hang them.
- The cutting board is small enough to use on a rock or block.
- The sporks might be too big for little ones.
- During one of my trips, I lost the spatula handle. Both the serving spoon and the spatula have handles that can be taken off (by clicking on them), so they are easy to store. I contacted Stanley, and they sent me a new one, but the moral of the story is to keep an eye on those handles.
- The spoons can melt if left near the campfire.
2. GSI Outdoors-Pinnacle Base Camping Cook Set – Runner Up
GSI Outdoors has been making campfire equipment since 1985. They know how to make good and reliable campfire tools and cooking gear. The GSI camping cook set does not include sporks and spoons as the Stanley does, but this brand makes these campfire cooking kits sort of modular. That is, you can start with the most basic camping cookware and add more pieces as you go.
This set is more for those who like to make soups and stews, and I prefer their pots over other brands because of the handles. It is easy to grab the foldable handle, grab a pot, and dump hot water through the lid’s holes.
Capacity: 2 to 4 people
Number of pieces: 8
- One five-liter pot
- A 3-liter pot
- A nine-inch frying pan
- Two lids
- A cutting board
- A folding pot handle
- A carrying bag.
- Modular campfire cooking kit. You can get more pots and cookware and use the same handles.
- The carrying bag doubles as a sink for washing dishes.
- It is a smaller set without utensils, but you can get those separately.
I love using cast iron tools and cookware, and this kit is built like a rock. This seven-piece campfire cooking bundle isn’t pretty, shiny, or fancy, but it can be a good fit if you want to throw some iron on direct fire and worry about damage.
Cast iron is durable and although it takes longer to heat up and arguably needs a more power fire to heath up the thicker metal, once is hot is hot and can get hot enough to fry and bake foods without getting damaged.
What I like about this set, besides it being made of strong cast iron, is that I can and often do use these pots in my home kitchen. The frying pan and the skillet are heavily used on my house stove. I can also use it with my home oven or, on clear, cool Florida days, prepare food outside.
- Durable cast iron, can be used on direct flame, stove or oven.
- The flat top works good as a grill.
- I love the fact that a lid lifter is included, it helps with moving hot stuff around.
- Pots and pans to cook a wide variety of meals.
- This level of strength and quality do come at a cost.
- Let’s just say, this set is heavy.
4. MEETSUN Camping Kit – Good Choice
The MEETSUN Camping cooking kit is a large set and our budget pick. It comes complete with 37 pieces, including large pans, camping kettles, knives, forks, and spoons, all fit in a carry-on bag. This set is good for up to six people, and it’s great for larger gatherings and cooking for larger groups.
It isn’t necessarily the most durable or strongest option, but if you are on a budget and want lots of pieces, this budget set can be a good option.
Capacity: 6 people
Number of pieces: 37
- One 4 liter hanging pot
- One 3 liter cooking pot
- One 1.4 liter saucepan
- One 1.5 liter camping kettle
- Six cups
- Six plates
- 6 folding stainless steel cutlery sets(spoons, knives, forks)
- One cleaning brush
- One spatula
- One durable carry bag
- Lots of pieces
- The camping kettle comes in handy for making coffee.
- Not built like our top two.
5. KingCamp Camping Kit Camping Set – Great for Prepping large meals
The KingCamp is available in 17- and 25-piece bundles. It works great with a campfire, a tripod, a stove, or even a bonfire. The set is lightweight and easy to stack and carry in its bags. This pots will also work great on a stove or oven.
Capacity: 3 people
Number of pieces: 17 or 25
What’s included (25 piece bundle):
- One half-liter stainless steel pot
- One 1 liter stainless steel pot
- One half-liter stainless steel frying pan.
- There plates
- Three sets of tableware (3 knives, 3 spoons, and 3 forks)
- Three bowls
- One carry bag
- It’s a pretty complete set since you get plates and utensils.
- Everything is stainless steel.
- Can be use on stove or oven.
- When the big pots are full of water and heavy, the handles don’t instill a lot of confidence.
6. GSI Outdoors Glacier Backcountry – Great for preparing small meals
The GSI Outdoors Glacier set is a great choice for couples or individuals who want an outdoor cooking set that is small and lightweight with just the basics. Nothing fancy to see here, just the basics. You get a cooking pot, bowls, and folding sporks.
Yet, this is enough gear to cook over a live fire or grate. Outdoor cooking is a lot of fun and lets you get creative, but some people don’t need 40 pieces of camping cooking gear to get the job done, and they are easy to fit in a backpack.
Capacity: 2 people
Number of pieces: 7
- One 1.8 liter stainless pot
- A strainer lid
- Two 20-onces mugs
- Two 20-ounces bowls
- Two Sip-It Tops
- Two folding sporks
- 1 welded sink
- Small and lightweight
- Easy to carry around in a storage bag or backpack.
- There are not a lot of cooking utensils, but the point of this product is simplicity and portability.
What to consider when looking for campfire cooking kit equipment
- What items and pieces are included in the kit
- Intended Use
What Items and pieces are included in the kit for cooking full meals
The best campfire cooking kits include everything from tableware to serving plates. Be sure that the kit you choose has all the items you need, some “lower-end” kits will not include utensils and accessories like a carrying bag. I included in this article everything that is included in each kit, making it easy for you to make your selection and choose the best campfire cooking setup to suit your needs.
OK people, I know that we all want to use camping flashlights as shovels, but don’t expect a cheap set of cast iron pans to work well over an open fire. Some of these campfire cooking kits specify if they can be used over an open fire or not. Stainless steel cooking pots and pans do well over an open fire, but those thin composite pots do not.
A strong fire can damage even cast iron cookware, so it’s important that we not only use these tools as intended but also manage fire pits well to get the most out of our gear.
Most open-fire cooking equipment is easy to store. The kits I have included in this list are built so you can easily stack them up and store them until it’s time to cook. Look for a cooking kit that can be stacked up and stored; it’ll make things easier. You don’t want to give these tools a chance to corrode, and you also don’t want to leave them out on public sites.
The quality of the product is important, and material quality is the name of the game. When looking for a good set, pay attention to the material used to build the pots, handles, and tableware. Stainless steel kits will last a long time and work well over an open flame.
Cast iron does well, but it does need to be kept “seasoned” or oiled or it will rust. I have a cast-iron pan that has been with me for years. I use it over an open flame to sear steaks. Cast iron cookware is durable but can be heavy. Again, if you take the time to take care of cast iron pans and cast iron cookware, they will last.
Also, pay attention to the specs of some of these kits. There is some camping equipment that cannot be used with direct fire. I like to cook using cast iron cookware, but one big downside is that it is heavier. The best campfire cooking kits will handle more heat than less expensive options.
recommended Accessories in a campfire cooking kit and bundles
We can all agree that campfires are a fun part of our outdoor trips. It’s one of the most memorable aspects of camping. These are my humble suggestions on what essential items your next camping cooking set should include. Take into consideration the meals you like to cook and ensure you consider having the cookware listed below.
While some foods can be thrown on a hot grate over hot coals or a campfire pot, other foods cannot. A frying pan can be used for toasting bread, cooking meats, and making side dishes.
I use my frying pan to cook eggs, pancakes, and, of course, bacon. A frying pan is very useful and enables you to cook a wider range of dishes and recipes.
I have used cooking pots for boiling water, cooking vegetables, and preparing big stews. Cooking pots are versatile and can even double as sink to clean dirty dishes.
A cooking pot is a handy cooking tool. I have my share of issues at the campsite and have been able to heat water using a pot for quick showers. Yes, I’ve been there.
If you like to cook lots of soups and stews large cookware is always nice to have.
Accessories and utensils
Kits that include serving spoons, spatulas, and cutting boards are always praised and favored. Utensils like forks are very useful. Cooking tools such as tongs and cooking boards are also nice to have. I also like to bring a set of sticks for making skewers to make camping dinners more diverse.
Consider the utensils material, many brands use plastic composites to manufacture utensils and those can get damaged or melt if left near a very hot campfire.
Cutlery, plates, and bowls
Plates and bowls are very useful and, well, you need to put your food somewhere. Surely, you can purchase plates and bowls separately, but when they are included, it is quite nice. In some kits, when the bowls and plates are included, they fit inside the bigger pots for easy storage.
The Storage and Carrying Bag
Most camping cookware is made so that it can be stacked neatly and put in a bag. This is a huge convenience, and I recommend getting a set with a storage bag. I like to keep my tools nicely put away and protected until it’s time to cook.
TIP: Other Must-have items, accessories and Gear for the Camp, RV and more
The camping kits on this list comprise fantastic items to help you enjoy the great outdoors on your next camping trip. The following is a list of items that I always bring on trips and have learned to always bring after years of traveling. Some of these bundles have enough utensils and equipment for any camping style, but the items below take it a level higher.
A portable camp stove
These portable stoves can be used for so many things, including cooking, of course. I always pack one, even if I end up not needing it. Some people prefer to build a campfire grill using rocks and a grill grate, but these stoves make things easier, and faster.
A Dutch Oven
A Dutch oven is one of the most versatile tools you can have in a campfire cooking set and should be part of your camping setup. You can make rice, fry, cook stews, and even use it to warm up food. As their name implies, these things can be as useful as a large oven and can be used on direct fire.
It is much simpler to use a firestarter, lighter, or even fire-starting blocks, particularly if the wood and timber around you are wet.
A fire starter kit:
- Fire matches
- Propane torch
- Electric fire lighters
Not only are cooking lighting accessories useful for cooking safely at night, but they can also be used around the campsite. These lights are more durable than household LED lights and small flashlights.
A pair of cooking lights is sufficient to illuminate your cooking area and allow you to see what you’re doing.
A pizza or baking stone
You’ll be surprised at the amount of food and dishes you can prepare on a good pizza stone. Stones absorb a lot of heat and transfer it well, making them a good hot surface to cook on. It’s like taking a pizza oven with you, but easier to carry to a camp.
You will be moving pots around, handling tools, and dealing with fire. It is a good idea to add a good pair of cooking gloves to your cooking equipment list and pack more than a pair on your next camping trip.
Also cast iron tools, skillets and griddle tops can get extremely hot and is a good idea to have a good pair of gloves to protect your hands.
A good Grate
I’m a bit old-school, and I just use an old cast iron grate, but campfire cooking grates are easier to set up with a campfire grill as they have folding legs or a stand to secure them. Most have foldable legs and do not need blocks or rocks to support them off the ground. These grates help support multiple cooking pots, deep dish plates, and even a coffee pot, making them very handy in a campfire cook set.
Aluminum pans are great for meal prepping and even serving food, but what makes them useful is their versatility and ease of cleaning.
I go to places like Ikea and online and get 79-cent rags or packs of cheap racks and throw them in a bag. Cleaning rags are a best friend around the campsite, and one can never have enough.
Biodegradable Dish Soap
You will need dish soap regardless, but the soap should be biodegradable. We all want to keep enjoying the outdoors, and we all want to keep the environment safe. Using biodegradable or environmentally friendly soap is a great way to protect the environment.
I live in Florida, and let me tell you, mosquitoes are a pain here. When I go on a camping trip, I pack some mosquito repellent spray and a few mosquito repellent candles. The campfire helps, but one can never be too prepared. I would recommend packing a good survival kit with bug spray.
Small Water Containers
Sometimes I get lucky and my camping site is near a potable water source. I like to bring water containers with me and fill them up with water if I am far from a water source.
The good thing about a grate cooking mat is that you can grab any old grate and turn it into a clean cooking surface.
Campfire Cooking over fire and Fire pits
Live Fire cooking is one of the greatest experience you can share with your friends and family. The skills involved and the opportunities for flavors is amazing plus I enjoy the chats around the campfire.
I really enjoy the rustic nature of campfire and it amazes me how something as simple as a fire pit can be turned into a a full kitchen. Take for example a dutch oven, it can be used to make rice, soups, and even fry chicken, all with just fire.
The meals tend to get a hint of smoke flavor which is a plus in my book.
There are few campfire tips I want to share with you before we wrap up this article. First, starting a campfire, make sure it is allowed in your area. States like Florida might ban fires during severe draught conditions [ 1 ]. Many states have Fire Danger Maps or Fire Danger Index ( FDI ) to indicate current conditions.
Second, keep the campfire at least 25 feet from structures, flammable items or anything that can easily catch fire or be damaged by heat [ 2 ].
Lastly, have a fire extinguisher near the campfire just in case, and I also like to have a shovel to cover any hot wood. I encourage you to review a complete list of campfire tips from the National Fire Protection Association, which I have included for your convenience. I strongly recommend you always bring a first aid kit or survival kit since you are outdoors and also working with live fire.
One Last Word
When looking for open-fire cooking set, consider who you intend to use the cooking kit for. Some of you want a kit with as many pieces as possible, while others only want the essentials.
As far as the best campfire cooking kit, we pick the Stanley Base Camp cooking kit as it is of good quality and has all the cookware you need to cook a good meal on your next camping adventure. If you want a durable and strong product, then the Bruntmore set is a great choice.